5:23pm: Speaking to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick (Twitter links) and other reporters, Hill said he was told he had a flexor tendon strain. The southpaw has already received a PRP injection and won’t start throwing for around a month. Hill didn’t have any firmer details about when he could be able to return to the mound, though he does expect to pitch again this season.
5:05pm: The Dodgers have officially placed Hill on the 10-day injured list with a left forearm strain, as per a team announcement. Infielder Matt Beaty was optioned to Triple-A, while right-handers Josh Sborz and JT Chargois will join the 25-man roster.
7:14am: Dodgers starter Rich Hill lasted just one inning Wednesday before exiting with what the team called left forearm discomfort. While the southpaw will undergo an MRI on Thursday to determine the severity of the injury, a 10-day IL stint is a certainty, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports.
A forearm injury is ominous for a pitcher because it sometimes serves as a precursor to Tommy John surgery. Hill has already undergone the procedure once, in 2011, though he’s “pretty confident” he won’t require it this time. The 39-year-old revealed that a “very preliminary ultrasound” showed his elbow ligament’s still intact.
Even if Hill has avoided a possible career-ending scenario with this injury, it will still represent the latest IL stint during his recent rebirth. A series of injuries have prevented the journeyman from throwing more than 135 2/3 innings in a season since he unexpectedly emerged as a quality starter late in 2015 with the Red Sox.
The Dodgers acquired Hill from the Athletics during the summer of 2016 and then prevented him from leaving in free agency the ensuing winter with a three-year, $48MM contract. Now in the last season of his deal, the still-effective Hill has pitched to a 2.55 ERA/4.11 FIP with 10.36 K/9, 2.04 BB/9 and a 48.9 percent groundball rate over 10 starts and 53 innings.
After Hill departed Wednesday, the Dodgers’ bullpen worked eight solid innings to help the first-place club cruise to a 9-2 win over the Giants. The Hill-less Dodgers will turn to fellow lefty Julio Urias to start Thursday, with righty Ross Stripling backing him up, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com tweets. With Urias and Stripling among fallbacks behind Clayton Kershaw, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Walker Buehler and Kenta Maeda, the Dodgers’ rotation should continue to perform like one of the majors’ best as it awaits Hill’s return.